Water is essential for life on earth. Water is needed for growing food, keeping ourselves clean, generating power, controlling fire and most importantly to stay alive! This list is simply non-ending. This shows that water is an integral part of our daily life and we are heavily dependent on it.
Water conservation –
Refers to reducing the usage of water and recycling of waste water for different purposes such as cleaning, manufacturing, and agricultural irrigation. Water conservation can be defined as:
1. A reduction in water use accomplished by implementation of water conservation or water efficiency measures; or, 2. Improved water management practices that reduce or enhance the beneficial use of water. A water conservation measure is an action, behavioral change, device, technology, or improved design or process implemented to reduce water loss, waste, or use. Water efficiency is a tool of water conservation. That results in more efficient water use and thus reduces water demand. The value and cost-effectiveness of a water efficiency measure must be evaluated in relation to its effects on the use and cost of other natural resources (e.g. energy or chemicals).
Water efficiency can be defined as the accomplishment of a function, task, process, or result with the minimal amount of water feasible, or an indicator of the relationships between the amount of water needed for a specific purpose and the amount of water used, occupied or delivered.
Water conservation programs are typically initiated at the local level, by either municipal water utilities or regional governments. Common strategies include public outreach campaigns, tiered water rates (charging progressively higher prices as water use increases), or restrictions on outdoor water use such as lawn watering and car washing. Cities in dry climates often require or encourage the installation of xeriscaping or natural landscaping in new homes to reduce outdoor water usage.
One fundamental conservation goal is universal metering. The prevalence of residential water metering varies significantly worldwide. Recent studies have estimated that water supplies are metered in less than 30% of the households, and about 60% of urban homes (as of 2009). Although individual water meters have often been considered impractical in homes with private wells or in multifamily buildings, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that metering alone can reduce consumption by 20 to 40 percent. In addition to raising consumer awareness of their water use, metering is also an important way to identify and localize water leaks.
Some researchers have suggested that water conservation efforts should be primarily directed at farmers, in light of the fact that crop irrigation accounts for 70% of the world's fresh water use. The agricultural sector of most countries is important both economically and politically, and water subsidies are common. Conservation advocates have urged removal of all subsidies to force farmers to grow more water-efficient crops and adopt less wasteful irrigation techniques
The goals of water conservation efforts include as follows:
▪ Sustainability. To ensure availability for future generations, the withdrawal of fresh water from an ecosystem should not exceed its natural replacement rate. ▪ Energy conservation. Water pumping, delivery, and wastewater treatment facilities consume a significant amount of energy. In some regions of the world (for example, California over 15% of total electricity consumption is devoted to water management. ▪ Habitat conservation. Minimizing human water use helps to preserve fresh water habitats for local wildlife and migrating waterfowl, as well as reducing the need to build new dams and other water diversion infrastructure.
Water conservation is the most cost-effective and environmentally sound way...